Ohio Crop Performance Trials can improve farm profitability

By O. Ortez, R.J. Minyo, M.A. Lowe, D.G. Lohnes, L. Lindsey, A. Geyer, M.W. Hankinson, J. McCormick, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), Ohio State University

The purpose of the Ohio Crop Performance Trials is to evaluate corn hybrids, soybean varieties, and wheat varieties for grain yield and other important agronomic characteristics. 

Results of the trials can assist farmers in selecting hybrids and varieties best suited to their farming operations and production environments and can complement recommendations made by seed companies and breeding programs. 

Seed companies marketing hybrids and varieties in Ohio are invited to enter their genetics in the crop performance test. An entry fee is charged to cover expenses. Each hybrid or variety entry is evaluated using at least three replications per site in a randomized complete block design. Trials are planted using small plot planters with GPS systems and harvested with specialized plot combines. Each plot is about 10 feet wide and 25 feet long. Fertilizer, herbicides, insecticides, and foliar fungicides are applied according to recommended cultural practices for obtaining optimum grain yields. Details concerning the establishment and management of each crop are listed in their respective annual reports. We use statistical analysis techniques to identify top-yielding hybrids and varieties for the state of Ohio.

Selecting a hybrid or variety is one of the most important decisions for your farming operation. Many factors need to be considered: crop maturity, herbicide resistance, disease resistance, and yield across multiple locations. The Ohio Crop Performance Trials provides insight into all four of these areas. Hybrid and variety selection should be based on proven performance from multiple test locations and years. Confidence in test results increases with the number of years and the number of locations in which the hybrids and varieties are tested. Annual reports provide multiple-year performance data as well when available. Look for consistency in a hybrids or variety’s performance across a range of environmental conditions. The presentation of results in these reports do not imply endorsement of any hybrid or variety by The Ohio State University.

We suggest using information from the Ohio Crop Performance Trials along with industry information to select a hybrid or variety for your farming operation to maximize your profitability. As an example, using the 2023 Ohio Soybean Performance Trial, the average yield in the northern Ohio region was 79 bushels per acre. However, the highest yielding variety for the region was 89 bushels per acre. There was a 10 bushels per acre difference between the average soybean yield for the region and highest yielding variety for the region. Selecting a high yielding soybean variety for your region can help to maximize your profitability.

Yields and other agronomic performance characteristics are reported annually for each crop at each respective trial location. A combined regional summary is included. The brand, seed source, hybrid or variety number, and summary table for all genetics tested are summarized. Additionally, the technology traits (e.g., herbicide and insect resistant events) and seed treatments (e.g., insecticide and fungicide) associated with each hybrid or variety entry are also reported. Weather results are also summarized in each annual report. Results can be sorted online by yield, brand, and other variables. 

The Ohio Crop Performance Trials solicit entries from all seed companies. Trial entry forms are available online at: https://u.osu.edu/perfentry/

If your favorite seed brand is missing from the trial, please contact your seed representative and encourage them to enter hybrids or varieties in the 2024 and future performance trials.

The corn, soybean, and wheat performance test programs at Ohio State have been in place for over 50 years. We appreciate the university-industry partnerships that have made these programs possible. We thank many farmer cooperators for contributing to these trials over the years. We are grateful for the assistance provided by OSU research farms at Wooster, Western Agricultural Research Station, and Northwest Agricultural Research Stations for hosting sites. 

Check Also

Virtual Corn College & Soybean School Feb. 2

The fourth annual virtual Corn College & Soybean School will be on Friday, Feb. 2. The …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *